Where to Watch March Madness Games with Chef-Picked Snacks

To help gear up for March Madness, we've put together a list of our contributing chefs' favorite game-day food at pubs, bars, and restaurants across the country. As always, these recommendations are hand-picked by our contributing chefs, so don't hesitate to swap your fries for sweet and spicy pig's ears—you might find a new favorite bar snack, chef-style.

March 11, 2014 ● 5 min read


Chef Eddie Hernandez recommends the Plain Ol' Vortex burger at Vortex Bar & Grill, which serves what he thinks is "the best burger in town."


Chef Philip Speer recommends an Amarillo Burger from Casino El Camino, a "late-night, punk rockabilly, tattooed, drunken burger" with roasted serrano chilies, jalapeño Jack cheese, and a cilantro mayonnaise.


Chef Anthony Caturano recommends the bacon, cabbage, & green tomato tacos at Tico, "a great spin on the classic American BLT."


Chef Justin Large recommends the house-ground Meyer Ranch beef burger at Owen & Engine, a burger without " a lot of nonsense," just "freshly ground Meyer Ranch beef, caramelized onions, and a housemade roll."


Chef Gilbert Garza recommends the ahi tuna nachos at Victor Tangos, even though he's "generally not inclined to quirky food like this: hand-chopped tuna, cucumber, and jalapeño on wontons."


Chef Jennifer Jasinski recommends the Cricket Burger at Cherry Cricket, "a greasy, five-napkin burger" with "smoked cheddar and avocado and it comes with fries. I suggest ordering a cold beer to go with it."


Chef Roy Yamaguchi recommends the "bone-in" kalbi short ribs at Side Street Inn because they are "down right perfectly sweet, salty, juicy, thick, and tender, just the way I like it."


Chef Chris Shepherd recommends the sweet & spicy pig ears at The Hay Merchant which are "the perfect accompaniment to any brew" at this "craft beer haven."

Las Vegas

Chef Brian Howard recommends the sausage peperoncini pizza at Secret Pizza, "the closest to good, New York-style pizza in Vegas—'nuff said!"

Los Angeles

Chef Dave Danhi recommends the Hudson Pretzel burger at Hudson House, "a great gastro pub in Redondo Beach" where he has "a few go-to eats there that would compliment any game...the Hudson Pretzel Burger with grilled onions, bacon, arugula and jarlsberg cheese is one of the best burgers I've ever had."


Chef Michael Bloise recommends the Mac Daddy cheese gratin at Burger & Beer Joint, which "didn't invent truffled mac and cheese, but may have perfected it. It's ridiculous because you know how bad it is for you, but you just can't stop eating it."


Chef Marino Tavares recommends the "AAA" Beef BRGR at m:brgr, his "favorite burger in Montreal. I order it with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and a side of sweet potato fries."

New Orleans

Chef Kelly Fields recommends the duck poppers at Borgne, a combo of "seared duck wrapped around cream cheese and pickled jalapeños, all of which is wrapped in bacon...I like to have these with an ice-cold Abita Amber."

New York City

Chef Mario Carbone recommends the bacon-cheddar burger at Daddy-O, "a perfectly executed burger served unexpectedly at a bar. The bun is nicely toasted, the burger is the exact temperature you order it and the condiments are fresh."


Chefs Andrew Brown, Shane Solomon, and Terence Feury recommend the brisket platter at Percy Street Barbecue, which Brown loves "with their house barbecue sauce; it's sweet, yet kind of hot and sour, too."


Chef Adam Sappington recommends the Classic burger at Killer burger, which is just straight up "juicy, messy, and good!"

San Diego

Chef Hanis Cavin recommends the roasted bone marrow at The Craftsman New American Tavern, where "Chef Wade's menu encompasses all of my favorites: sweetbreads, porchetta, etc. However, the bone marrow is exquisite."

San Francisco

Chef Daniel Corey recommends an order of grilled fish tacos “Nick’s Way” at Nick's Crispy Tacos, which he says "define the idea of 'fatty fresh'" with grilled fish "wrapped in two tortillas (one soft, the other crispy) and topped with marinated cabbage, pico de gallo, and a big dollop of fresh guac."


Chef Maria Hines recommends the pork belly sliders at Spur, which "pair perfectly with their beautifully crafted cocktails."


Chef Rob Gentile recommends the daily sausage at The Saint Tavern, which "has the best sausages in town. The Hunter's sausage is finished with mustard, spaetzle, yellowfoot mushrooms, and sour cream."

Chef Quang Dang recommends the steak sandwich at LOCAL Public Eatery, where he "loves the vibe. The steak sandwich is served on delicious garlic toast, and the price is right, too!"

Washington D.C.

Chef Billy Klein recommends the lard fried buttermilk chicken w/ pickles at Bar Pilar, which has "the best fried chicken in the city by far. The brine really makes all the difference."